Wanderlust is “a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.” It’s also made up and I hate it.
You know those types, right?
“Oh, I love to travel, me!”
“You can’t keep me tied down. I’ve always got to be moving!”
“I want to see the whole world and have magical adventures in it.”
No. Shut up. Just stay where you are and shut up.
I’m not saying never travel. I’m saying don’t fetishise your greed for conquering the world.
Having ‘wanderlust’ is such a first-world experience. Being able to travel anywhere ever at all is such a privilege. Turning it into a lifestyle is an insult to those who struggle to simply get by in life.
The world isn’t your playground. Getting all giggly about going and ruining some lovely little foreign beach reeks with echoes of colonialism that anyone with any self-consciousness should feel awfully guilty about. We as Westerners historically went wherever we liked in the world, imposing our values, and it didn’t turn out so well.
The world isn’t there for you to ruin and take a selfie with. So just leave it alone.
Besides, there’s restaurants on my road that I still haven’t been to yet. Why should I have some great urge to go explore the rest of the big ol’ world when I haven’t even explored my back garden fully yet?
Let me quickly sum up what other countries will be like, if you really must obsess about going to them:
- Hot countries: Hot
- Cold countries: Cold
- Beaches: Sandy
- Mountains: Tall
- Rainforests: Humid
- Deserts: Dry
- Oceans: Wet
- Cities: Busy
There, I think I’ve just about summed up the grand total of possible travel experience you’ll ever have. Do you really need to go and do it all in person now?
I’m aware that this is probably the grouchiest rant I’ve ever written, but wanderlust really really annoys me. Even the word is dumb. Anyone who describes themselves as having it is essentially irredeemable.
It’s a self-centric narcissism masquerading as some kind of pseudo-syndrome manifested through the voyeuristic lenses of social media and blogging. Yes, I hate it so much it made me write a sentence like that.
Go travel if you want. Just shut up about it.
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